Indice > Dialoghi Interconfessionali > M-RC > Paris (Singapore) Rep. 1991 | CONT. > Conclusion
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   99. Together Catholics and Methodists confess the Church as part of the Triune God's eternal purpose for the salvation of humankind. The Church is the communion of those who have received, receive and will receive through faith the benefits of the redemptive work of God accomplished in the life, death and resurrection of the Word made flesh. In the Holy Spirit they acknowledge the lordship of Christ to the glory of the Father. Thus constituted and sustained by the Word and the Spirit, the Church is both a sign and an instrument of the Father's good pleasure for the world: it is a sign, because it is the first fruits of God's gracious purpose and work; it is an instrument because it has the task of further proclaiming the Gospel and doing the works that belong to God's kingdom. By its own communal life it bears witness to that society of love in which the city of God will consist.

   100. Catholic and Methodist formularies differ over the concrete location of the Church which they both confess. While Wesley and the early Methodists could recognize the presence of Christian faith in the lives of individual Roman Catholics, it is only more recently that Methodists have become more willing to recognize the Roman Catholic Church as an institution for the divine good of its members. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II certainly includes Methodists among those who, by baptism and faith in Christ, enjoy "a certain though imperfect communion with the Catholic Church"; and it envisages Methodism among those ecclesial communities which are "not devoid of meaning and importance in the mystery of salvation (Unitatis redintegratio, 3).

   101. In the quarter-century since its inception, the Joint Commission between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council has contributed to the degree of mutual recognition which now exists. It has done so by the clarification of Methodist and Catholic positions and traditions, especially as these impinge on each other. A large measure of common faith has been brought to light, so that the increase in shared life that has begun may confidently be expected to continue. The need now is to consolidate the measure of agreement so far attained and to press forward with work on those areas in which agreement is still lacking. Continuing doctrinal progress should both encourage and reflect the growth in mutual recognition and in sharing in the life of the Triune God.

[Information Service 78 (1991/III-IV) 212-225]

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